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Meet Elgan Hughes, our Student Engagement Manager

4 March 2024

Elgan Hughes, Student Engagement Manager tells us about his role and projects he’s working on within the Student Engagement Team at Cardiff University’s Learning and Teaching Academy.

Tell us about your career history:

I caught the bug for student voice and student experience as a representative on my engineering undergraduate course. As a result of this voluntary role, I was elected as the President of the Students’ Union at Birmingham City University (BCU), where I was privileged enough to be recognised at national awards for my partnership work.

As a staff member at BCU I created an extracurricular course on Student Knowledge in Learning and Leadership (SKILL) which was accredited by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) and aligned with Descriptor 0 of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPFS). The course created a Student Fellow status to recognise the work of students in this space.

After 8 years at BCU in 2015 I joined De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) as the student Voice manager, before working as their Head of Membership Services where I was responsible for Representation and Governance, Student Opportunities, and Advice and Wellbeing services.

Student Engagement is my passion, and I have received some amazing support from staff within the Higher Education sector which have transformed my life and opportunities. I hope my work plays a small part in improving experience and opportunities for students, and that’s what keeps me motivated.

What does your role involve and how long have you been in the role?

I joined Cardiff in 2023 as the Educational Engagement Manager. The focus of my role is to support change in education practice and ensure that sponsorship, support, and champions are actively promoting the Education and Student Experience portfolio within the academic community.

In December 2023 I started my role as the Student Engagement Manager, and I lead the strategic direction of the Student Engagement Team. I provide advice and guidance to colleagues to develop and implement student experience enhancements across the institution. Student voice is a key focus of the role and I’m responsible for the institutional approach of student feedback, from the National Student Survey (NSS) results to mid-module enhancement.

What projects/tasks are you currently working on within your role?

Myself and the team are launching and implementing several key student engagement initiatives. We have developed a Student Voice Enhancement Model that will support Schools to develop their student voice mechanisms, and I want to continue to embed the success of the Student Engagement Officer Model into all 24 schools. I’m currently leading a review of Student Staff Panels (SSP) and am developing enhancements for the 2024/25 academic year. I’m also looking to diversify and grow student employment opportunities within the institution.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have a young family and love being outdoors on the weekend, especially going on long walks in the countryside or  playing with my son. I’m passionate about Rugby Union. I have always been heavily involved in rugby – I have played from the age of 9 and continue to play for a local team. I grew up on a farm in Carmarthenshire, and I regularly help with lambing, sheering, and the harvest.

Meet more members

Find out more about other members of the Learning and Teaching Academy.